Pakistan reports polio case to take year’s count to 13

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Pakistan’s polio count for the year has risen to 13 with one case reported on Friday as the South Asian nation looks to contain a disease mostly eradicated elsewhere, officials said

The latest case was found in the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and involved an 18-month-old boy reported to be undernourished, the health ministry said in a statement.

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The previous 12 were reported from North Waziristan district which in the past was a lawless area mainly under the control of Pakistani Taliban before military operations were launched against the group in 2014.

“This is the first polio case reported from outside of North Waziristan district where vaccinators were still facing serious challenges in reaching out to children due to resistance from local religious leaders and unwilling parents,” provincial health department officials told Reuters.

Last month, a vaccination official along and two policemen on security duty were shot dead during a polio inoculation drive in KP province.

“This case puts the Wild Polio case count for endemic countries at 14, with 13 cases from Pakistan between April and June 2022 and one case from Afghanistan in January,” the ministry said.

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